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Author Topic: I have had enough.  (Read 6096 times)
Understudy
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« on: October 05, 2007, 02:21:05 AM »

Here it is nearly 2am. I am still banging my head over an answer Mr. Hayes gave in the October
2007 ABJ(American Bee Journal).

In it he answered a question given the title "Not worth the risk."
Part of the answer he gave:
Since 99% of all feral colonies dies years ago from the introduced varroa mite and the AHB shows some resistance, many wild colonies in Florida probably have AHB genetic introgression in one way or another any be safe or not.

I asked a question in the disease thread about AFB.

Basically I am now calling the research and science out. I would like to see it. I would like to read it.
I want the documents. I no longer an willing to accept the status quo. I need as much help with
this as I can.

I would like to have peer reviewed or acknowledged documentation on the following items:

How many people have been killed by AHB. I hear the current number is 18 in 20 years in the
United States.. I want the documentation on those 18 people and the tests confirming the
presence of AHB.

I want to know the path and level of destruction of the varroa mite on feral hives. Not domestic
hives, feral hives.

I want to know how many cases of AFB there have been in the past 5 years. I understand one
member here recently had a case. I would love to see the lab report. If you are a member of a
beekeeping club and can ask members for documentation on the listed items I would appreciate
it.

I would also if someone can point me in the right direction to find out how many people were
killed by fire ants, spider bites, snake bites and similar in the past 20 years.

I have gotten to the point where I am questioning whether or not the title killer bees is really
deserved.

I am not saying AHB are not more defensive or aggressive when provoked. But this may be a
relative matter. If 19 people died in 20 years from fire ants I am wondering if the issue regarding
AHB isn't just media labeling completely.

If feral hives generally make small cell when left to the wild for a few years. Wouldn't feral bees be
better able to handle the varroa threat?

The thing I am wondering is if there is any research on feral hives?

Also if AHB are somewhat resistant to varroa isn't that a good thing?

I understand the honeybee is one of the most studied insects out there. My question is what the
hell have they been studying for the past 200 years?

My current understanding is that queen stock is poor because of a shallow gene pool? Okay let's
see it. What about feral bees gene pools?

If I buy 50 queens from one dealer am I really getting a diverse gene pool?

Please feel free to send this to any bee group, science personnel, or other that may be helpful.
Understand I realize that this is going to put me in a somewhat awkward position but my gut is
telling me that more media hype is going out than real research.

Please understand I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Hayes. He is very helpful to me and to
other beekeepers. But I completely disagree with him on the issues of AHB and how to deal with
it.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 09:56:13 AM »

you'll never be able to get some of the info regarding feral colonies b/c they were never quantified. How could they?
Additionally, I appreciate your zeal, but I would be personally be reluctant to accept bees w/ AHB traits, even if they might be superior from a beekeeping perspective. We as a gruop need tp promote beekeeping generally, and I beleive this angle you want to take, although well intentioned, is likely to scare the general public. Its hard enough to get the public to accept the docile bees we keep now. First things first. EHB first, then AHB from a marketing perspective. IMO. I have represented lots of difficult clients in my days, AHB would be just as difficult to promote.


Love fighting the good fight though!
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 10:07:03 AM »

Brendhan, you are losing sleep over this, you must get answers to help you to feel good about things.  Good luck, I wish you well and that you can have your answers that you must really need.  You are in an quandry, have a wonderful day, greatest of health.  Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 10:16:04 AM »

i am guessing that some of the AHB is presumed.  diagnosis made by circumstances, rather than lab tests.  that's common  with farm people.  probably with bee people. also, very often a lot of noise is made about research.  the noise attracts tax dollars for research.  once the money is in hand, little or nothing may be done.  if some research is done, it is often filed in case of audit, but not published unless it is something spectacular...and will attract more tax dollars.  

try calling colleges that have ag programs.  UC Davis, OSU (oregon, not ohio smiley), etc.  sometimes college kids are true believers and if they get to do the research, you may get some answers.  Davis might be especially good.  again, research money often goes into a department fund and is never seen again.  

don't know if you have Lexis Nexis access.  if you do not, you may be able to get it through your library.  they will probably charge a small fee.  any bee death is good copy and will have made the press.  in addition, you may find some medical studies that will help you out.

if i think of more after coffee, i'll add   grin
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 11:15:26 AM »



Part of the answer he gave:
Since 99% of all feral colonies dies years ago from the introduced varroa mite and the AHB shows some resistance, many wild colonies in Florida probably have AHB genetic introgression in one way or another any be safe or not.


If feral hives generally make small cell when left to the wild for a few years. Wouldn't feral bees be
better able to handle the varroa threat?



stuff like this is why I am not sold on small cell, you know this country was covered in feral hives before mites and if they build small cell after a few years then why did they die, I dont believe theferal hives died because they was a recent swarms or new hives. a lot of the feral hives that dies was feral for many years before mites, I have always believed it was the bee's that handled the mited and not the size of the cell, my hives do just fine on regular cells. there were a whole lot more ferals in the 80's than commercial hives I believe and if cell size is the reason they live then we wouldn't have lose as many feral hives like we did..... now im not saying SC doesn't work but if bee's do build cells smaller after a few years being feral then why did they almost get wiped out??? you know a lot of them feral hives that got killed was feral for many yearsand it just never added up to me.... just my 2 pennies worth.
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 02:07:58 PM »

Besides someone saying that someone told them that someone told them........ How do we know most all the ferals died off because of mites? So many other things could have killed them off from pesticides to fires...... People not wanting bees near them and they kill them off. Just so many things could kill them and yet it is said that the mite did it. Probably no one even paid attention until domestic bees died off and then they began to look.

But then there is the possibility that when the domestic bees died the ferals went to rob the hives and carried so many mites back that they couldn't even handle them.
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 06:05:47 PM »

Thank you all for you answers. You all bring up the points I am thinking about.

I want to promote good beekeeping also. Here is one of my beefs. I think the media blows out of proportion the AHB issue. I think good beekeeping can and is being done with AHB. I think the tittle killer bees is wrong.

To my point I received this email from Dr. Vandermeer of the USDA Fire Ant research department.
Brendhan - 80 people have been documented to have died as a result of fire
ant stings - due to hypersensitivity to fire ant venom. It is likely that
others have died from hypersensitivity to fire ant venom, but have not been
documented.

Sincerely,


Robert K. Vander Meer
Research Leader
Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research Unit
Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology
USDA, Agricultural Research Service
1600 SW 23rd Drive
Gainesville, FL  32608 USA

Office: 352-374-5855
FAX:    352-374-5818
E-Mail: bob.vandermeer@ars.usda.gov
        or bobvm@ufl.edu
 




On 10/5/07 8:19 AM, "Understudy" <understudy@understudy.net> wrote:


>> Hi Mr. Meer,
>>
>> I have a question for you. How many people have died from fire ant bites?
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Brendhan


The answer is nice and might even be correct. The folloiwing questions come up from his reply.
1. Over how many years is that total of 80 people? Is that one year or twent years?
2. Where are the reports and documentation to back this up?
At this stage I am no longer just willing to accept the status quo.

Let's assume for disscussion that he is correct and that it takes place over twenty years.
That would mean there have been way more deaths due to fire ants than AHB.
But the media last big report on Fire ant deaths was the nursing home incident.

I firmly believe that the spin on this in regards to AHB is this. AHB are not an issue. Are they more defensive sure but are they more likely to kill you? My answer to this would be no.

EHB kill plenty of people who have sensitivity to them. But here is some more fun the numbers of deaths from AHB range from 14-19. Let's go with 19 for the discussion. In a twenty year period. I do not want anyone to die from an AHB attack but I don't want them to die from and EHB attack or a Fire Ant attack or a snake bite.

The AHB in the south are here to stay. Methods to erdicate them have failed and only hurt EHB.

In a simple way. If you can't beat them join them.

AHB may have a mite resistance. They are great at collecting honey. They build up quickly. They do well in tropical climates. For me they are all big pluses.

Can they be mean horrible and nasty? Sure. So can EHB.

When I spoke to Dr. Jamie Ellis it wasn't the beekeeper that was his concern. It was the guy driving the backhoe a block away. Is this a reasonable concern? 6 months ago I would have agreed with you. I am not so sure now. Even if the bees did attack which is only a remote possiblity, the chances of death are even more remote. I am not saying a bee attack is a good thing. I just think that the media have caused a level of paranoia that is overblown.

What needs to happen is that the negative spin on AHB needs to stop.

I have a friend who does research for a newspaper he has lexus nexus access. I have already talked to him about getting answers.

Maybe small cell isn't the only reason for feral hives to thrive. I notice in feral hives drone cells are on  the outside pieces of comb. Brood is in the center. Now I have seen the studies showing the life cycle of the Varroa Mite and it hitchhiking on robbers to spread to other hives. However Varroa breeds inside the capped cell. They prefer drone cells. So if they are looking for good drone cells my assumption would be that they are going for the outer drone cells. Maybe there are some in the brood but a healthy hive can survive with a certain level of mites. Drones get easier access to other hives also. What I need to do is to look at more research to confirm this or show the opposite and to find out how Varroa affect feral hives.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2007, 06:17:27 PM »

Brendan,

There are a good number of studies out of Texas A & M regarding feral bee populations, but they all cover areas in Texas.  The latest study covering my area was done in 2005.  The results are pretty irrefutable, since they used mtDNA analysis to identify the matrilines of the bees.  Samples from aerial pitfall traps indicated that about 40% of the bee population are of AHB matrilines and the rest were divided between the Egyptian honey bee and EHB.  So indications are that a pretty large percentage of feral bees are of AHB origin.

There is no doubt the their presence is on the rise here in Texas.  We have had at least 4 stinging incidents this year with at least two fatalities that I can recall.  So I would not count on the 18 deaths in the last 20 years statistic holding as their presence continues to escalate.

All that being said, I would agree that there is a considerable amount of media hype associated with the AHB and that they are not quite the "monsters" that the media and others would have us believe.  After all, the beekeepers in S. Africa keep them and manage them in much the same way as we do the EHB.  However, the stinging incidents in S. Africa are probably not covered nearly as widely if at all so I don't know how valid that comparison would be.

I do feral cutouts in my area and keep the colonies, but I also have them tested for their mtDNA source and any that are AHB matrilines are either re-queened or destroyed.  Research seems to indicate that colonies that are headed by an AHB matriline queen are much more likely to develop the super aggressiveness when their daughters are mated to AHB drones (as would very likely happen during supercedure), so the best defense is to make sure that your colonies are headed by EHB matriline queens and keeping lots of drone comb in them so that you flood the drone pool with EHB drones.  Vigilance in keeping track of your queens is paramount, since if a few AHB queens slip in, those colonies will start kicking out lots of AHB drones.  By the time one of them is superceded and becomes aggressive, you have already seriously contaminated your drone pool.  This certainly does add to the overhead of keeping bees in AHB territory.

I don't know if this helps you much, but I would not get too gung-ho about keeping AHB.  The facts are out there that they can and will attack more readily and in greater numbers than EHB.  As their prevalence becomes more dominant, the stinging incidents will continue to increase.  Just by keeping EHB in AHB territory, you will not be able to keep their genetics out of your stock.  I would take a lesson from the beekeepers in Mexico and points south.  They have found that by using EHB breeder queens to generate the open mated daughter queens to head their hives, they can manage bees in AHB dominate territory.  Is it more work, yes for sure.  But it is probably the only approach that is going give the public much confidence that AHB are manageable.  Also I don't know about in your state, but here in Texas it is still against the law to knowingly keep AHB in managed hives.  At some point in time, that will probably have to change since the AHB genetic material will eventually creep into most Southern/SW US beekeeping operations regardless of our efforts.  But at this point, I think an attitude of "since it is inevitable, I might as well embrace AHB now" would not be well received and could land one in a good bit of "hot water" legalwise if you know what I mean.
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2007, 06:42:19 PM »

genesbees

Do you have a contact at Texas A&M?
Were any of the studies on Varroa and feral hives?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 06:45:55 PM »

I found a contact for Texas A&M. I am sending an email.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2007, 07:37:10 PM »

Brendhan, pseudoscience or hearsay science is pretty frustrating.

As Kathyp said, no doubt the actual statistical danger is overstated by the media. They don't do it on purpose. It's mostly lack of good journalism education on things like statistics and risk. You don't get much better a horrific story than an AHB stinging incident. And if you're worried that someone else will cover it and you don't, you cover it to avoid being scooped.

In 2006, accidents on constructions sites killed 1,258 people. More than 500 people were murdered in their workplaces. Statistically, it's pretty unlikely that AHB will kill that many. You can read these stats and some others at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here's the relase that my stats above came from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm

BUT, people are more afraid of things that they are less familiar with and over which they feel they have little control. Highway accidents kill way more people than other things we do, but folks still drive cars because they have confidence in themselves. So folks fret about West Nile virus and AHB and still smoke, eat at McDonalds and spend all their time flopped on the sofa. Humans are really not very good at weighing risk.

In healthcare PR, we deal with this aspect of human psychology all the time. The only time folks want a flu shot is when there is none available.

My guess is that Hayes meant "many" or "most" not actually 99%.

I think AHB could eventually lead to changes in the beekeeping industry where it becomes established. As in other countries where they deal with, the answer may be in protecting the hives better from intrusion and locating them further away from habitation. That's a pain, but not the end of the world.

I agree with you, I'd like to see better science in all of beekeeping, from varroa and trachea control to CCD and AHB. There's plenty of topics for study.

Good luck pushing the envelope,

Kev
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2007, 09:30:35 PM »

Bottom line, if you have an aggressive colony, first re-queen, at the same time, collect about 50 to 100 bees and put them in a vial/bottle that can be sealed. Send them off and have them tested.
In a way it really doesn't matter about the testing except for the record, for "We" the beekeepers.
No one else seems to care anyhow except the media for a good story they can blow-up.

And remember, an aggressive colony doesn't mean AHB. The older the queen gets the more aggressive the workers become.
As for feral colonies, I have been having bees come to my yard from the time I started keeping bees.
As a matter of fact the first bees I bought died and all I had left was a colony that came from somewhere and the closest beekeeper is 12 miles.

Remember the little green men in the 50ties?

doak
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2007, 09:41:04 PM »

doak

My little group of hives is not the issue. My concern are the current stats and science out there.
And even if I had AHB hives I wouldn't know because my hives are very nice. That may also be part of the issue. See not all AHB hives are mean and nasty. They are more inclined to be so.
But some are just fine. The problem is when 80 people die from ant bites. 19 from AHB. And only the AHB get coverage.

My concern is people saying that varroa destroyed feral colonies and there being no science to back it.

I need the bottom line in this case to be good science. I need to be able to say to the people who come to my presentations what is going on. I need to be able to teach people about bees correctly. It is hard enough to deal with the misinformation out there. It is really hard when it is coming from reputable sources.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2007, 10:21:05 PM »

Correct on the feral colonies.(WHO) has gone out there and covered "ALL' the area of this Land?
Second, take this to the scale and weigh it, then you can take to the bank.

Anytime, anywhere someone gets stung and dies from a bee sting. The first thing looked at, is there any beekeepers in the area? next, if so, it was "killer bees."

Now, AHB venom is no different from European bees. Bad part so many attack at once.
My bees even do that. Any one who is highly allergic to bee stings only needs one sting.
How many of those people died from a Honey bee sting that wasn't AHB and that person had a fatal allergy to bee stings.
There has been proof that the evaluators for some things use statistics  that doesn't play a part in what is being evaluated. Some one died from Multiple honey bee stings. Thats all they need to know.AHB's
The media will pump up a story if need be.

Maybe the varroa did kill all the true feral colonies, but what do they call the ones out there that swarmed from someones yard and they didn't recover them?

They can tell by the venom whether it is a honey bee or hornet, wasp, yellow jacket, etc.
I would like to have some answers myself, but as long as we have what we have, we will get what we get.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Problem with hard cold facts, Politics makes them no better, sometimes just worse.
At the same time these people giving all this info and stats are saying the only way to fight all this stormy stuff is for the small beekeepers like the ones on this forum to keep bees and help the honey Bee fight for its rightful place in the System.

There are so many anti, anti, anti's out there today it is sometime hard to find ones way through the maze.
doak.
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2007, 11:22:06 PM »

the reason the media is taking off with this is because the AHB's are new, the media in Texas, new Mexico, Arizona and California dont talk about it unless someone gets attacked, Florida is new to them and they will blow it out of the water to make a story, this is nothing new, all the other states did the same thing at first......
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 10:50:47 AM by TwT » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2007, 01:45:47 AM »

I remember fire ants being in the news quite often in years past. They were going to devastate livestock all over Texas. Now? Nothing.
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2007, 09:00:16 AM »

well, lets just go ahead and import some apis cerana (asiatic honey bee) too and pretty soon no one will easily be able to maintain a pure stock of ehb anymore. they have coevolved with varoa and demonstrate exceptional grooming ability to deal with the mites. their downfall is they have smaller colony numbers and have smaller honey yields than ehb. on the other hand, they don't have the aggressive behavior and other undesirable behaviors of the ahb. i would bee more in favor of them than the ahb, but i am unwilling to promote the propagation of either species.   
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2007, 11:20:37 AM »

brendhan,  i wish you well in this.  the answers would be interesting.  i am afraid that you are probably going to find that "good science"  is pretty hard to come by.  there is usually an agenda attached somewhere......
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2007, 11:43:19 AM »

I don't think Apis Cerana is the import and more than I think Cape bees are the answer to AHB.

I think the bees are capable of dealing with Varroa if they are healthy.

I do think that the AHB is a good bee despite it's bad reputation.

Those two items conflict with the idea that the Varroa destroyed 99% of feral hives when they came to the US. And that AHB are nothing more a dangerous bee that should be eradicated.

However there may be research out there that says I am wrong. I will gladly change my mind when I read it.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2007, 11:50:19 AM »

Typo:
Apis Cerana has an "e"

"Apis Ceranae"

Just my anal retentive nature of typos and correct spelling  Smiley Wink  Cindi

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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2007, 01:21:52 PM »

Hey,

In an article I read in National Geographic that there were no feral bees in N. Am. and the original bees came w/the settlers in 1622 at Jamestown This changed the landscape forever as w/the bees commercial crops that need pollinators were able to thrive.

cheers

peter
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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2007, 01:45:58 PM »

I thought that in an article I read in National Geographic that there were no feral bees in N. Am. and the original bees came w/the settlers at Jamestown???

Just because there is nothing that proves that bees were here.

An absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.
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« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2007, 05:08:25 PM »

Hey,

In an article I read in National Geographic that there were no feral bees in N. Am. and the original bees came w/the settlers in 1622 at Jamestown This changed the landscape forever as w/the bees commercial crops that need pollinators were able to thrive.

cheers

peter

Peter,

The timeline I am refering to is the late 1980's with the invasion of the Varroa mite and it's affect on the feral honey bee hives. The issue of the honeybees being brought with the settlers is not the issue I am researching.

I am willing for right to accept that bees were brought in with settlers to the New World(for now). I may pick that battle later.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2007, 05:19:19 PM »

Typo:
Apis Cerana has an "e"

"Apis Ceranae"

Just my anal retentive nature of typos and correct spelling  Smiley Wink  Cindi




Hmmm. Lets research the spelling of the bee.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_cerana
http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/disease/how-apis-cerana-keep-varr.shtml
http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/157/1/19
http://www.apidologie.org/index.php?option=article&access=standard&Itemid=129&url=/articles/apido/pdf/2000/02/m0208.pdf

Now I see a few spellings of it your way but not nearly as many. Now if you were to say Nosema Ceranae, I would agree with you.

But see stuff like this is why I am pulling my hair out. It is little details and I am far from a grammar nazi. But what are we going to do if people can't even agree on how the name is spelled let alone the difference between two species of mites or how many deaths are due to AHB.

Sincerely,
Brendhan



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« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2007, 12:32:48 AM »

Hmmm. Lets research the spelling of the bee.


thanks for sparing me the difficulty.

i know people who live in ahb areas are having to deal with it. i don't blame you one bit for having questions and wanting answers.

http://www.stingshield.com/news.htm


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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2007, 09:04:43 PM »

My research is leading to a possible keystone report.
A Dr. Jim Tew wrote a report in 1999 called :
The Effects of Varoosis in North America – A Twelve Year Review

I have tried to find this report. I have sent an email to Dr. Tew also. I have not received an answer.
If any of you have a copy of this report or know where I can get please let me know.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2007, 10:49:57 PM »

It's probably been shelved or buried due to incomplete model of "scientific" data.  I'm betting that any estimate of the effect of varroa on feral honeybees is just that: an estimate.  It's like Mark Twain once said, "there are lies, darn lies, and statistics."  Estimates come under the heading of statistics.  +/- how many %?
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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2007, 10:08:40 AM »

Sometimes answers are slow in coming. That doesn't mean once I have started to bite your leg I am going to stop.  evil

This report, The Effects of Varoosis in North America – A Twelve Year Review has been a thorn in my side. It is heavily referenced. Malcolm Sanford mentions it several times in his a few of his reports. http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/threads/varroa.htm

Not to mention a google search on Effects of Varoosis gives you loads to look at. However Google Scholar is rather bleak. My friend who works at the newspaper reasearch department managed to get in and try to find it through lexus nexus and a few other things. He came back with out the report but said it would come back as a report because it was a presentation.

In the meantime I have been emailing Dr. Tew calling his secratary and finally I got a response the other day.

Dear Mr. Horne,
Many years ago, I presented a Varroa synopsis at the Apimondia meeting in British Columbia.  I probably did convert the presentation to a written paper, but I was unable to quickly find it on the web in either ABJ or Bee Culture.  I have converted my Power Point program to a pdf file and have attached it for your review.  Of course, this PP program was an outline for the verbal presentation that I gave - plus it was a short presentation.  I still have my old computer at home and will check to see if anything is stored on it.  Otherwise, my comments only may have been presented in verbal form.  Sorry.  I wish I could have more helpful.
jtew


Now here is the problem. Dr. Tew did a nice presentation on Varroa and it's effects. That presentation has become the keystone to a lot of other reports, articles, and disertations.
I don't think this is his intent.

The original problem was Dr. Hayes saying that Varroa destroyed 99% Of feral hives in Florida.

This is where I am going to make my first leap. I have not seen, found or been able to locate one peer reviewed scientific report that backs that statement up. The highest I have found was a report for Northern California that reported 75% loss in a small area.

Since there is no definitive research on the damage to feral hives on a large scale. You can toss out almost any number you want out there.

Here is the problem the research does not exist in a large enough and comprehensive enough scale to make anything other than an assumption.

Here is what I feel needs to be looked at in order to assist. The amount of calls exterminators received to remove feral hives between 1987 and 1995. If that number dropped dramatically depending on which state you are in than you might have something to assist your claim. however you are now dealing with an economic situation and not a biological one. However that information along with some of the good research that exists out there would give a much better picture.

At this stage I will say this there is no clear evidence on a large scale as to how damaging Varroa was to feral hives. The impact may range from almost none to near total devastation. Simply put it is not known.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

PS. Stand by for more.

Also Jerry put his foot in it again with the latest issue and his Q&A section "The Classroom."

Cindi, now do understand why I want to teach the masters program?
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« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2007, 12:08:17 PM »

Why is it so important that a scientifically verifiable number of feral hive losses be determined. For argument sake, lets say your search proves the 99% stat wrong. It turns out to be only a 75% loss, or 50%, or 40%. What does this prove. In my limited experience, I feel very comfortable saying there was a "drastic" loss of bees in the 90's. The inpact is still in effect now. I have lived w/in 4 miles of my present address. I have always been an outside person who always kept vegetables and flower beds. I have not seen a honeybee in years until I put my hives in my yard. I have not received any calls, not one for removals. Even if I had, does it mean they are feral, or left a hive two weeks ago? I must be missing something. The issues of lost feral bees and AHB is a red herring IMO. I think what you need to find out are the stats (%) of AHB w/in present day bee populations and the expression in attacks on people and livestock.

I think you already lost the public relations battle already regardless of whether your point of view is "good" science or not. My wife and I are planning a trip to Africa for 3 yrs from now. My 5y.o. nephew told me not to go. They have great whites(he knows I scuba dive) and killerbees said the 5 y.o.

I also thought of you when I read the "answer" in BC and knew you would want the "truth, and nothing but the truth."

I also believe settlers brought EHB, otherwise native americans wouildn't have referred to them as "white man flies." Circumstantial of course.
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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2007, 12:39:28 PM »

I understand most of your questions. I work for myself outside. I am outside for 7 months of the year the rest of the time it is to cold and snowing. My point is when my dad was alive we did bee removals we did a couple a year sometimes a couple a week never more than 5 miles from home.  Point is in the last 10 years I have not seen a swarm. Not one. There are only two beek within10 miles of where I live. There will be this spring I have my Nucs ordered.  Tony
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2007, 01:28:20 PM »

Quote
I also believe settlers brought EHB, otherwise native americans wouildn't have referred to them as "white man flies." Circumstantial of course.

The Indians referred to bees as white man's flies because of the white man's penchant for keeping skeps full of bees near their homes not necessarily because the white man brought the bees to America.  This was a practice completely forgien to Indians to farm flies--in fact, they farmed very little, mostly corn (maize), beens, squash, and melons.  Most everything else was obtained through hunting, fishing, or gathering. 
If you're going to reference something like that you need to understand the culture that generated the quote.  The proper perspective can change everything.  For instance if you put colloquial idioms into their proper use in the Bible it changes a lot of the accepted interprtations of verses--especially those made by Jesus.

Personally, I'm with Brendhan on this, too often bad science is passed on as fact by lazy researchers.  The IVAP with CCD is an example of the confusion this type of science can cause and it's going to be awhile before the effect of that erroneous finding is worked out of the system, i.e. the classroom section of BC.
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« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2007, 02:08:13 PM »



This report, The Effects of Varoosis in North America – A Twelve Year Review has been a thorn in my side. It is heavily referenced. Malcolm Sanford mentions it several times in his a few of his reports. http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/threads/varroa.htm


Really old stuff that report. Now it begins year 2008.
.
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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2007, 02:27:08 PM »

Quote
I also believe settlers brought EHB, otherwise native americans wouildn't have referred to them as "white man flies." Circumstantial of course.

The Indians referred to bees as white man's flies because of the white man's penchant for keeping skeps full of bees near their homes not necessarily because the white man brought the bees to America.  This was a practice completely forgien to Indians to farm flies--in fact, they farmed very little, mostly corn (maize), beens, squash, and melons.  Most everything else was obtained through hunting, fishing, or gathering. 
If you're going to reference something like that you need to understand the culture that generated the quote.  The proper perspective can change everything.  For instance if you put colloquial idioms into their proper use in the Bible it changes a lot of the accepted interprtations of verses--especially those made by Jesus.

I understand your point. My source was Undaunted Courage, an historical perpective on the Lewis and Clarke Expedition.(Great Book). It suggests the indians called them that name because they preceded the white mans presence and had not been present prior to europeans. And it is only circumstantial evidence of EHB being new. Not conclusive in any way.
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2007, 02:28:18 PM »

Brendhan ... all went very well after our communication in Miami. Next time we shall make an effort to meet. Regarding the 'Killer Bee' name for what I find are to a great extent very mild bees under normal conditions. Let us try to get a name change and wipe clean the unfair reputation of the AHB as seen by Hollywood and the media. In Guyana and in paticular the Rupununi area, we are capturing many feral bee hives in both jungle and savanna conditions. To our great surprise, over 80% of the hives captured were super calm and non agressive. These are bees that have been wild for some time since over the past 40 years, no beekeeping was undertaken in this area. The Rupununi area also borders with Brazil and has had the influence of AHB from the very beginning. In time there appears to have been a change in the agressive nature of these feral bees and with some changes in beekeeping protocol, these bees are adapting very well to the few apiaries that have been established over the past months in various villages. This is a program that is being promoted among the local villages to increase fruit, nut and honey production for small farmers. The presence of varroa has also been found in most of the feral hives.
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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2007, 06:46:52 PM »

Why is it so important that a scientifically verifiable number of feral hive losses be determined. For argument sake, lets say your search proves the 99% stat wrong. It turns out to be only a 75% loss, or 50%, or 40%. What does this prove.

You bring up some very good points. But I would like to look at them.
The 99% of feral hives being destroyed by Varroa is without backing. It is also being used as a scare tatic to tell people that all feral hives are AHB.
The party line also goes to saying that EHB have no ablity to resist mites without chemical treatment.
If 75% of feral hives were destroyed by Varroa. Why don't they look into why 25% survived and if those traits continued in future generations.
If the number is 50% or less. Than the Varroa issue was mishandled because if feral hives suffered those types of loses and beekeepers suffered dramatic loses (and they did). Then there is something in the way beekeepers are keeping bees that is not correct.

Quote
In my limited experience, I feel very comfortable saying there was a "drastic" loss of bees in the 90's. The inpact is still in effect now. I have lived w/in 4 miles of my present address. I have always been an outside person who always kept vegetables and flower beds. I have not seen a honeybee in years until I put my hives in my yard. I have not received any calls, not one for removals.
Again another excellent point. Is the reason that you have not come across any feral hives due to Varroa? Development? Enviroment? All items that should be given consideration.

Quote
Even if I had, does it mean they are feral, or left a hive two weeks ago? I must be missing something. The issues of lost feral bees and AHB is a red herring IMO. I think what you need to find out are the stats (%) of AHB w/in present day bee populations and the expression in attacks on people and livestock.
When you get done with your law practice. Please be a teacher you would be great for students out there. The discussion what is a feral hive can have some split hair issues. In this case I a saying a hive that has not received any beekeeper interaction and does not exist in a hive box.
Is it a red herring? You bet it is. Unfortunatly the Ag Dept for Florida is using a FUD campaign that is going to cause even more problems. According to the most recent stats Florida obtain 90% AHB on samples sent in for testing. A result that is at best very skued.
There have been anywhere from 14-19 deaths in 20 years from AHB in the whole US. Florida has lost one horse and several dogs and small livestock to bee attacks. Not all of which were AHB.

Quote
I think you already lost the public relations battle already regardless of whether your point of view is "good" science or not. My wife and I are planning a trip to Africa for 3 yrs from now. My 5y.o. nephew told me not to go. They have great whites(he knows I scuba dive) and killerbees said the 5 y.o.
You are very correct as far as the public relations thing goes. As I heard it once said I can either be right or I can be married. Here is where my problem comes in. Bad science gets picked up by the media and run all over the place. Good science while sometimes difficult to putinto simple terms often gets discarded. And currently in Florida, we are getting bad science out of people with PhD or Dr in their name and position of responsiblity. I find it frustrating when they espouse F.U.D. (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) and potential new beekeepers are put off by the very people that are there to represent us. They aren't elected either.
Quote

I also thought of you when I read the "answer" in BC and knew you would want the "truth, and nothing but the truth."

I also believe settlers brought EHB, otherwise native americans wouildn't have referred to them as "white man flies." Circumstantial of course.

That saying white man's flies I have sen referenced several times I accept it. I also have read several of the history reports as to when bees came into the US. The exact year is in dispute but did they come with settlers? You bet.

Konasdad. Thank you.


Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2007, 07:25:56 PM »

The discussion what is a feral hive can have some split hair issues.

I don't understand why it is so hard to figure it out about bees? What is a feral cat? One that is not in the care of humans. Seems easy to me. Or am I missing something?
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« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2007, 08:32:15 PM »

The discussion what is a feral hive can have some split hair issues.

I don't understand why it is so hard to figure it out about bees? What is a feral cat? One that is not in the care of humans. Seems easy to me. Or am I missing something?

And in most instances you would be correct. The problem is every feral hive in Florida is assumed to be AHB. Even if it is a hive that was a swarm from a hive box. A hive box with an unmarked queen can be declared AHB. Even if it is maintained.

If you have a hive that is not maintained for certain period of time (The amount of time is a debated item) a hive can be declared feral.

So as Konasdad mentioned a swarm leaves a hive two weeks ago. Looking for a home. Is it a feral hive?

Let's say you capture a feral hive and put it into a boxs is it now domesticated? How soon after you have them in a box are they domesticated. I know with cats it can be over two years. Yes, I still have some scars from my cat Futlity.

Cats and bees are not the same. However, I understand your comparission.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2007, 08:41:13 PM »

>native americans wouildn't have referred to them as "white man flies."

Lakota words for honey bees and related subjects:

It works out like English. There are bees, in general(t'uh'mun'ga), honey bees , in particular (t'uh'mun'ga tunkce) and bumble bees in particular (t'uh'mun'ga tanka) with the name for bee (t'uh'mun'ga) in both honey bee and bumble bee.

Lakota-English Dictionary Rev. Eugene Buechel, SJ 1983 edition Page 501 left column near the bottom:
t'uh'mun'ga tunkce - honey bee
(MDB note: I don't understand why, but tunkce in other contexts means breaking wind, perhaps because bees buzz?)
t'uh'mun'ga wigli - beeswax
t'uh'mun'ga tanka - bumble bee

as opposed to

Buechel: pg718 right column middle of the page
fly - tannicala

Buechel: pg 116 left column middle of the page.
canhanpi - tree sap - maple sugar - sugar

as opposed to:

An English Dakota Dictionary by John P Williamson 1992 edition page 84 right column:

honey-comb n. Tuh'mag'as'in

Also Dakota-English Dictionary by Stephen R. Riggs 1992 edition page 480 left column

tuh'ma'gac'esdi - honey


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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2007, 10:09:23 PM »

Let's say you capture a feral hive and put it into a boxs is it now domesticated? How soon after you have them in a box are they domesticated. I know with cats it can be over two years. Yes, I still have some scars from my cat Futlity. 

Knowing you have "captured" bees, probably some been on their own for some time and could be considered feral, do you notice any difference between them and the ones you've had "domesticated" for awhile. I don't see any difference. Some I've cut out are very calm. Some I got from someone else were really mean. So I would consider them feral as soon as they leave as a colony from the care of a beekeeper, and domestic as soon as they are in the care of a beekeeper.

That includes AHB. Just because a hive goes hot doesn't make it feral, just as a calm feral colony is not domestic.
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2007, 10:34:18 PM »

Let's say you capture a feral hive and put it into a boxs is it now domesticated? How soon after you have them in a box are they domesticated. I know with cats it can be over two years. Yes, I still have some scars from my cat Futlity. 

Knowing you have "captured" bees, probably some been on their own for some time and could be considered feral, do you notice any difference between them and the ones you've had "domesticated" for awhile. I don't see any difference. Some I've cut out are very calm. Some I got from someone else were really mean. So I would consider them feral as soon as they leave as a colony from the care of a beekeeper, and domestic as soon as they are in the care of a beekeeper.

That includes AHB. Just because a hive goes hot doesn't make it feral, just as a calm feral colony is not domestic.

I agree completely. That is why a feral colony is a split hair issue.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2007, 11:22:03 PM »

Why don't they look into why 25% survived and if those traits continued in future generations.
I


Those straits have searched everywhere and they have searched how they have survived.  You may read reports from internet.
Universities have done this job all the time. - Because they have money and that is why researchers exist.

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« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2007, 11:34:01 PM »

Why don't they look into why 25% survived and if those traits continued in future generations.
I


Those straits have searched everywhere and they have searched how they have survived.  You may read reports from internet.
Universities have done this job all the time. - Because they have money and that is why researchers exist.

.

My point is exactly that. They did not do the research in Florida when the Varroa invaded and now they all spout off numbers that have no research to back them.

If you can find a feral hive Vaorra report that pertains to Florida from when the Varroa first were detected (1987) to several years after. I would be more than happy to look at it.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2007, 11:52:52 PM »


 They did not do the research in Florida



Jep. Here is some headlines from Apimondia 2007
http://www.apimondia2007melbourne.com/english/program.php


---
*Maria Alejandra Palacio, Argentina, A honey bee stock improvement program in Argentina

 * Ralph Buchler, Germany, Varroa tolerance selection program in Germany

*Lilia De Guzman, USA, Russian Honey Bees to be Resistant to Varroa destructor

*Osman Kaftanoglu USA, Future Possibilities of Bee Breeding and Instrumental Insemination

 *Fert Gilles, France, To improve the quality of queens

 *Malcolm Sanford, USA, Global Bee Breeders Initiative

20 minutes each time to explain


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« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2007, 10:04:28 AM »

LOVE the F.U.D.- I might just start the anti-fud political party in your honor. And yes Understudy, I have tought before and will again in the future for sure. Right now I am trying to learn how to keep bees, make wine and relax some more. This topic is truly cool.

I might point out that AHB might be the best manner in which to keep zoning laws from legislating against beekeeping.

Yes, feral is symantic. Personally, i wouldn't accept a feral "tag" until the animal we are discussing lives at least one seasonal cycle on its own. Shows an ability to survive. For bees, I would suggest at least one year. They have to survive the seasonal highs and lows-winter in aprticular. For a cat, perhaps its first unassisted kill and meal. No garbage picking, but a kill. Other animals would have a diff scale. If I caych a swarm that left someones hives last week they are not Feral IMO, AND they will not carry the "survivor" genes so coveted. For that, Perhaps two or more years of feral lifestyle would be needed. So on a genetic level, it would/might be two or more years.

I would suggest asking the florida legislature  for a tax break as a beekeeper. Perhaps a tax credit. Why? you relase good drones in the fight against the big bad AHB. A regular john Wayne . Start a campaign for public assistance or the state will be over run w/ AHB. Haven't they seen the news?!?! People might die! Stop the killing-keep EHB! Dont fight it- join it! Dont let all your hard work go uncompensated!
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« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2007, 10:13:07 AM »

Konasdad

You know what that may be one of the best ideas out there. Asking for the tax credit. I would be inclined to sign the BMP(Beekeeping Management Practice) if I was going to do that. The one thing I would like is that feral colonies that are tested and show up AHB negative also receive that. You know this is going to rattle in my head all day. I like this.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2007, 11:30:21 AM »

Yes, feral is symantic. Personally, i wouldn't accept a feral "tag" until the animal we are discussing lives at least one seasonal cycle on its own. Shows an ability to survive. ...  For a cat, perhaps its first unassisted kill and meal. No garbage picking, but a kill.
Topic drift: My barn cats kill rodents regularly. It's their JOB. I don't consider them feral. Thanks to my daughters, they are all very friendly and cuddly. All of which validates your initial statement that "feral is symantic". Regardless of whether it's bees or cats, we can argue about what defines "feral".
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« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2007, 12:11:38 PM »

Topic drift: My barn cats kill rodents regularly. It's their JOB. I don't consider them feral. Thanks to my daughters, they are all very friendly and cuddly. All of which validates your initial statement that "feral is symantic". Regardless of whether it's bees or cats, we can argue about what defines "feral".

Does she feed them and/or nurture them in any way. If so then they are no longer feral. If not then they are friendly feral cats. Not unusual.
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« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2007, 08:59:02 PM »

Konasdad

You know what that may be one of the best ideas out there. Asking for the tax credit. I would be inclined to sign the BMP(Beekeeping Management Practice) if I was going to do that. The one thing I would like is that feral colonies that are tested and show up AHB negative also receive that. You know this is going to rattle in my head all day. I like this.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

I'd say to make them prove it.  If they are destroying every swarm on the assumption that it's feral does that mean that a marked queen that just swarmed is now feral and AHB.  The very queens they insist everybody use to prove EHB.  This is government idiocy at its best.
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